Friday, September 16, 2016

Back to school?

This morning, instead of going for a run, I dropped off the kids at school and went right to the rec center to get in the pool. I had to be done and ready to leave the house for my therapy appointment by 9:15, so I didn't have time to meet Andrea (she can't meet until 8:45). It was pretty boring without her! I swam back and forth for a while (it felt like an hour). Every time I was swimming one direction, I could see a clock, and it seemed like the minute had wasn't even moving.

I was too embarrassed to get out of the pool after just five minutes, so I kept going. Finally, at 15 minutes in, I couldn't take it anymore. I got out and showered, then headed home to eat breakfast before going to my appointment.

I'm still on a cold oats kick. My favorite way to eat them is what I call "Almond Joy Cold Oats":

40 grams dry old fashioned oats
10 grams chia seeds
12 grams brown sugar
10 grams shredded coconut
10 grams mini chocolate chips
4 grams of cocoa powder
4 fluid ounces of whole milk
A few drops of coconut extract
A few drops of almond extract

I just put it all in a mason jar, and then seal and shake it. I throw it in the fridge for about 15 minutes, and it's ready. (You can do it overnight, if you want, but I always forget to.)


It doesn't look very pretty, but it tastes delicious!

I've been eating breakfast outside lately, because the weather has been nice and cool. It's been in the mid-50's in the mornings! I love it.

At therapy today, C suggested that I consider going back to school. I went to college for three years, but I don't have a degree. I was a psychology major for the first couple of years at Eastern Michigan University, but then my school counselor told me that I basically couldn't do anything with a psych degree. I had no idea what I wanted to do! I switched to the community college after that, taking the required classes to apply for the nursing program. I switched programs a couple of times--dietetics, and even criminal justices--but nothing seemed like the right fit for me.

I was working at Curves at the time, and had just gotten promoted to assistant manager, which meant more money and more hours, so I decided to quit school. After having Noah, I decided to be a stay at home mom/wife, and I have never, ever regretted it. I love being at home!

Right now, the kids keep me very busy; but once they get old enough to start driving and doing things on their own, I might want to do something else. So, C suggested that I look into taking a class or two here and there, to open up my options if that day comes. The thought of it is scary, but also kind of intriguing! I think I would enjoy taking classes.

This afternoon, I looked up my transcripts from EMU. I have no idea if those classes I took will even count, because they're from so long ago! But it's a start. If I'm going to do it, though, I have to pick a major and stick with it. That will require some serious thought.

When I was 18, and in classes, there was usually a lone "old person" (ha! Probably in their 30's) and they always took the class much more seriously than us kids straight out of high school. Now I know why! If I was to go back to school, I'd BE the old person in class, and I'd BE eager to learn. ;)

Anyway, I'm not sure I'm going to do it--it's just a thought right now!

29 comments:

  1. I work in a graduate school so you are never too old to go back! I've had people in their late 60s enroll in our program. And you can do something with a psych degree but usually requires you to get additional schooling either to become an LCPC or getting an MSW (I work in a graduate school for social work so I see many students with undergrad degrees in psychology). You'd actually be pretty good in it, I think! And there are so many areas now because of how global are country has become.

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  2. I just watched the documentary that you were in on Netflix...it was great. keep up the good work ...you guys have motivated me to get back on my weightloss journey

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  3. Hi Katie - Just watched your movie. It was awesome!! My husband and I loved it. As far as school goes - you're never too old. I'm 51 and I finally finished my degree last year. I started it in 1983! I went to college right out of HS, but only a semester. Then I worked and went back a few years later, but only for 2 semesters. Then back to work. Then I finished an associate's degree. Then back to work. Finally, in 2011 - I thought I have to finish this thing! It was a huge disappointment to me that I never got my degree. I felt like a failure. So, I finally did it - 1 or 2 classes at a time. I never stopped working full-time, so it was hard at times, but I was so proud to get my degree! Now if I could just get on that same bandwagon and lose this weight! I think you've already done the most difficult thing in losing all your weight...and school would be a piece of cake ;)

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  5. Hi Katie,

    I wrote you an email about a month ago expressing my admiration and gratefulness to you for how candidly you've written about how you're attending to your mental health and also mentioned that I thought you'd make a great counselor/social worker (I am a social worker, an LICSW, myself). I still totally stand by what I said- you're an amazing writer, you're super insightful and you are really driven to help others. You'd be such a good fit for a degree that helps others and which draws on your personal experience. It upsets me to think someone told you couldn't "do anything" with the degree you were pursuing. I was an English major who went on to get my MSW and absolutely love my career and use both degrees all the time. It's something to consider. These days, the MSW is the "MBA" of helping professions, and are very versatile. Let me know if you're ever wondering about carving a path for your future! I'd be happy to help.

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  6. I have a degree in psychology. I then went straight into the MSW program and now many years later at 41 I'm working full time and in a full time doctoral program for social work. It's never too late!

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  7. Theres nothing stopping you from going back to study if you don't let it. I am doing a double degree in law and commerce (general business studies) while running around after 2 kids, one with high and complicated needs. I study online! I take 2-3 classes a semester and attend only 1 hour a week via the internet, the rest of my study is done around our households needs. I have only ever gone to the campus because of other committees I sit on. Perhaps have a look at what is available to you online or by correspondence and take a class or 2 a semester.

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  8. Like you said, you need to start thinking a bit about a major. I think if its something you really like than you would find school to be fun and you would do great.

    (I too remember that one "older person" in college and I always admired there wisdom...and security with themselves. Daring to come back after many years, asking all those questions many of us don't dare to, and simply being more worldly educated)

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  9. Learning has no age limits. Go for it! :)

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  10. There are plenty of schools that have online education! Hell even penn state does it! Start taking what ever basic classes you need one at a time abd think of your major as you go along.

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  11. I absolutely encourage you to go back to school....but I do have a suggestion. Really look into the degree programs and what kind of job (and pay) you can expect after graduation. I know it's not popular to say, but salary does matter, especially given the cost of education. College counseling offices are not always honest with you about employment opportunities and earning potential after graduation, so do your research. Also, find out if you are going to need an advanced degree or licensure to make any money in your field. Good luck....I wish you much success!

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  12. Katie, this sounds great! The biggest question I ask myself periodically in life (and I'm and LCSW in private practice for over 20 years-funny how many MSW readers to have!) is this: "am I the fullest expression of mySELF- who I am/who I want to be?" If not, I ask myself what would help me get there. What would make my life fuller, richer, more of what I want. And sometimes we do things and we don't know exactly where they will take us- I know you know this all too well. Whatever you decide, good luck to you! I've been reading your blog since before your lower body lift and I truly enjoy being part of the journey!

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  13. So many schools offer online classes and you can even take all the classes required for a degree. I work at a small university in the Midwest and we offer several degrees through online courses. I bet EMU does too. If not it will be easy to find others. Sometimes that is the most comfortable way for a non traditional atudent to get started again and it gives you plenty of flexibility for family or work schedules. Start with one class and see how you like it. Make it something you are interested in. I bet you will really enjoy it and if you take a couple each semester by the time your boys are driving you will probably have that degree!

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  14. Go back to school if you can, you will love it. I did a lot of jumping majors when I was younger and quit all together twice. Two years ago I finally went back and finished my business degree. I can not tel, you how good it felt to have that silly piece of paper that tells me I can do the job I have been doing for half my life lololol. Yes many of the classes didn't fit the new curriculum but it was fine ;). Good luck!

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  15. I got a nursing "degree" (it's an apprentice ship here, so no college required), worked a year, and then went to university and already felt old... But I am 100% certain that it was so much better than just going straight from school to college! What I did before going to college was just sit in different classes, whoxh is even easier now that there arw so many great online classes, and do mini internships, in just any area that I could think of. Did one in a professional embroidery workshop! I'm a psychologist now, but I don't do anything clinical, or even counseling related. There are so many options with psychology! It spans really everything, from "classical" clinical stuff to working as a data analyst or in HR, I know people who are now in marketing, really, we are everywhere :-) I'm actually doing stuff that looks quite similar to what my brother does, who is a mathematician.
    EdX, Coursera or even YouTube are great resources to check out classes.

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  16. You should totally do it! Trust me, you wont be the lone "old" person either! Especially at Community or even EMU...so many older adults are continuing their education these days. I went back to school at 32, took a few years but I got my associates! Many were older than me, mostly people that had been laid off of work and needed more education to find anything substantial. I really would like to go back and do my bachelors...and I am 39 now! I really don't want to do anything with it. I just want to dot it for me! I really like the SAHM gig!

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  17. My husband and I watched From Fat to Finish Line last night. It was amazing, it was so moving. I know that if you choose to return to school you would do amazing. You used your determination to achieve what most believe is impossible already. You lost a large amount of weight and you've maintained. I believe that you could use that same motivation to achieve whatever goal you chose to strive for. I was 34; almost 35, when I finally obtained my bachelors degree. We had just adopted a new born baby girl and my oldest was in high school when I started my last two years at ASU. When I was working on my Associates Degree, I started very slowly and built my way up. It was not easy. I had pretty gnarly anxiety attacks along the way and surprisingly more after when life slowed back down. It was very much worth it to prove to myself I could do it. It is possible and you can totally do it!

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  18. I'm an undergraduate advisor at a big state university. It is not at all uncommon for "older" (compared to the typical student) adults to go back to school, and even to take one or two classes at the time. The faculty generally appreciate the more mature students, because such students usually take their classes much more seriously. I second the other comments about thinking carefully about what major or program you would like to do, because if you're doing 1 or 2 classes at a time, it will take awhile and you don't want to waste any semesters.

    Also, it depends on the school, but it's very likely that your past course credits are still good. As an advisor, I'd say that if you took any courses that long ago that are critical for your major, you might retake a couple of them, but if they are General Education-type courses, then no problem. Also, it's likely that some of the school's overall requirements (like Gen Ed) and even major requirements have changed since you were there. There are different policies, but you may be able to choose whether you want to be on the original requirements from when you began your schooling or the current requirements. A good advisor will help you figure out the best options.

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  19. I teach in college - I love "non-traditional" students in my classrooms. They keep the tone higher and regular-age students (kids) really like them. It reminds them that they are not in high school anymore and they take things more seriously, as has been said above. They take THEMSELVES more seriously.

    I would say not to worry too soon about a major. Think of this as a time of exploration. When you find something that makes you tingle, then you know you're onto something worth following. :)

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  20. One last comment from me on this (sorry, I accidentally deleted my last one! Remember that life experience and all of your accomplishments from the last 10-12 years will count for something. If you choose to pursue being a full time or even part time student at any point, there's a good chance you could get a scholarship too! Any school would be lucky to have a known writer/blogger who's been on network TV, featured in a documentary and magazines and has made their story an inspiration! Leverage all of that hard work and success and I can only imagine how it will pay off!

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  21. If you're still thinking about nursing I would highly recommend it -- I work as a nurse and there are so many different oportunities and flexibility. Those oats look so yummy-- I'm going to try them!

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  22. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how the higher education landscape has changed. My friends who went back to school in recents years seem to agree it was best for them to start with an on-campus class or so to really get back in the swing of things -- so much is different -- before they did online classes. Just a thought.

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  23. Back when I was teaching at community college, my favorite students were the adults who were coming back and the high school kids who were motivated enuf to get a jump start. As you said, they took the work much more seriously than the students who were there because "mom said I had to go or get kicked out." (I exaggerate there but not by much.)

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  24. I did my master's at age 35ish, and didn't finish my PhD til 48. I've been the old gal in class many times. Psych is a great degree to build upon. I teach occupational therapy and several of our students come in with psych degrees. There are many interesting, versatile professions-- social work, occupational therapy,physiotherapy, nursing... and so many more. You might find it interesting to talk with a career counsellor, one who will take some time with you. You have so many skills to draw upon.

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  25. Hello! I'm just watching From Fat to Finish Line on Netflix! You're an inspiration! My 47th birthday is tomorrow, and I need to lose about 35-40 pounds. I'm also back in college! I should be done in December and getting my bachelor's in Public Relations. My two youngest kids go with me! LOL Go for it!

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  26. That is cool that you are thinking of going back to school. After having to drop out of college as a young person to go to work, my mom returned at age 52 and finished her BA. It took her several years; she did only a couple of classes at a time. She loved it, and was in classes with our neighbors' kids.

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  27. That's almost exactly what I eat for breakfast! Except I mix in a tablespoon or two of pb :) What's funny is that people give me weird looks when I tell them what I eat for breakfast, but they're believers once they try it. Especially after a run, the combo of carbs, protein, and fat is a great way to refuel. It also tastes like dessert, which is never a bad thing!
    Diana
    betterthanalive.com

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  28. I've thought about going back to school here and there. Now I have one kid that I'm paying parent loans for, another about to graduate high school and the youngest is 13. I don't think I could even afford it now lol.

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  29. I was at EMU for 3 years (transferred from there to be closer to family) and they have an excellent Exercise Science program! Also my husband transferred credits from BGSU to EMU that were 15 years old. I went back to school at the age of 31 and it's been a great experience.

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I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)